Minneapolis Breweries are creating a thriving craft beer scene.
Our guide of Minneapolis Breweries should be handy for any beer devotee, including location details, operation timings, availability of al fresco arrangements, tasting sessions, and food services.
Brief History of Minneapolis Breweries
In 2012, there were 39 breweries in Minnesota. A mere 7 years later, that number had grown to 183. Minnesota’s craft brewing industry generated $1.0 billion and more in economic activity in Minnesota.
Research conducted by the University of Minnesota states of the above figure, US $383.9 million was labour income and the industry supported 8,435 workers in the state.
75% of breweries that responded to the survey have made a capital investment (building or equipment) and 49% moved into a new market or expanded distribution. Also, food trucks were more common than on-site restaurants.
Covid-19 had a devastating effect on the beer industry worldwide and the crafts breweries in Minneapolis. Breweries reported an 18% drop in sales and a 10% drop in employment. But as pandemic restrictions are eased in 2022, breweries will start the long recovery process.
So what’s the favourite beer in Minnesota? Naturally, Budweiser tops the list as Minnesota is a solidly light beer state. Bud Light, Miller Lite, and Coors Light take the second, third, and fourth spots, with Heineken taking 5th place.
Minneapolis has an ever-growing craft beer scene with more than 80 craft or microbreweries in the city itself and nearby St. Paul.
Oh and don’t forget that Minneapolis has a great metro transit system, which makes for guilt-free sipping.
Ranked by barrels produced in 2020, Summit Brewing Co in St. Paul, is the largest brewery. Minneapolis is also home to a large number of beer festivals which draw locals as well as outside visitors.
What Are The Major Beer Festivals Or Events In Minneapolis?
The Minnesota Craft Beer Festival has come and gone (April 9) which showcased 450 beers from 116 breweries. There is an annual St Paul Summer Beer Fest set for Saturday, June 11. And the Minnesota Monthly’s 2022 GrillFest is due on May 21.
Which Brewery In Minneapolis Has The Best Food?
Minneapolis breweries with good food abound in the city with many breweries serving the best sit-down meals around. Surly Brewing Co. tops the list as they are making a name for themselves in the food scene. Their beer hall offers a full restaurant serving snacks and entrée dishes in an informal setting. They feature great burgers, BBQ and very special pizzas are offered on the weekends. Oh, AND they offer curb-side pizza to go during regular business hours. Kids and pets are welcome with the spacious outdoor patio offering games and fire pits. One can almost smell those pizzas on their Instagram feed @surlybrewing.
There is so much good beer around, there is even a craft brewery tour which aims to showcase the best breweries around the Twin Cities in one journey.
In an urban culture that is steeped in beer, how does one even start finding the diamonds in such a crowded beer scene?
Let’s give it a try, shall we?
What Are The 10 Best Breweries In Minneapolis?
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56 Brewing is a quiet, relatively unknown spot in Northeast Minneapolis. They have a superb summer location with a garden and a wonderful front patio for sun-worshipping. Try Motueka Pale Ale, ‘ssippi Squeeze IPA, Nose Hair Bender.
Bauhaus Brew Labs
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Bauhaus is a great concept as a brewery crafting German-style beer. Bauhaus Brew Labs is a family of musicians, scientists, artists and – above all – beer lovers. Housed in an old warehouse hangar, the venue is open and spacious taproom. There is a Craft Breweries Conference from 2-5 May coming up and they feature a huge Oktoberfest every year that is worth attending. Hours are: Monday-Thursday: 4pm–10pm, Friday: 3pm-11pm, Saturday: 12pm-11pm. Check on their events list regularly as these dudes are busy! Try Wonderstuff, Skyfive! IPA, Stargrazer.
Fair State Brewing Cooperative
Fair State is located on the north end of Northeast Minneapolis. Fair State operates as a cooperative with over 1,500 members. A great model for local business. Fresh beer comes from local sources. Their taproom and beer garden is open seven days a week. There are inside tables and tents outside. Plus they offer new beers every single week. Try their Roselle, Pils, Mirror Universe, Pahlay and Hard Seltzers!
Dangerous Man makes the list for its great ambience and atmosphere. Very busy over weekends, but not in an overcrowded way. The spacious taproom is filled with fresh plants and loads of natural light. The Peanut Butter Porter is considered one of the better beers in all of Minnesota. Apparently, it’s not sold in liquor stores, so visit the taproom. Hours are Tuesday-Thursdays 4pm-10pm, Friday 12pm-11pm, Saturday 12pm-11pm, Sunday 12pm-4pm. They have between 13-22 rotating beers on tap, including a Gluten Free, a Gluten Reduced and Non Alcoholic option on tap. We have light snacks available for purchase as well as coffee, tea and sodas. They welcome punters to bring their own food.
Modist Brewing Co.
Modist Brewing Co makes it onto our list for their interesting methodology and approach to beer brewing. A Modist is a person who “modifies.” This brewery favours creativity with the head brewmaster coming up with a flavour he wants. He then works in reverse and develops a recipe to obtain the desired flavour. The result is completely unique beers you won’t find anywhere else. The beer menu is always changing. Try False Pattern, Dreamyard, First Call on their patio.
Finnegan’s Brewery is unique in that it is 100% non-profit. It’s a microbrewery with a large and generous taproom with dark wood panelling surrounding a clear view of the 100-L brewing chamber. Finnegan’s aims to create a positive impact in their local community through Finnegan’s Community Fund. The fund is a 501c3 non-profit aimed at creating sustainable change for those affected by hunger through profits from Finnegan’s, volunteers, events and partnerships. And yes they do celebrate St Patrick’s Day in style. Try the Finnegan’s Irish Amber Ale, Dead Irish Poet, and Blonde Ale.
Surly is the original craft brewer of Minneapolis. They’ve seen off some stiff competition over the years as the craft beer market grew. A great venue with both inside and outdoor options. They also happen to serve fantastic food. The Beer Hall and Beer Garden are closed on Mondays. Open from Tuesday-Thursday 3pm-9pm, Friday 3pm-11pm, Saturday 11am-11pm, Sunday 11am-77pm. The kitchen closes at 5pm. Try their Surly Darkness (Rare), Surly Furious IPA, Todd the Axeman, Surly Wet.
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This brewery is on the list for its great location and its focus on European style beer making.
Utepils Brewing is on the west side of Minneapolis near Golden Valley. You can go to Utepils Brewing to get a differentiated approach to brewing and get away from the ubiquitous IPAs, pale ales and more. Their altbier is said to be one of the best around. A large brewery with a festive atmosphere, their beer garden is right next to a small creek. Punters can choose from a list of fresh, quality-tasting European beer styles. Try their Alt-1848, Copacetic Kolsch, Ewald the Dark (Dark Lager), Ewald the Golden (Hefeweizen).
La Dona Cerveceria
La Dona, a Latin-focused taproom in Minneapolis, offers both IPAs and lagers. They also offer fresh fruit cocktails. If you are looking for more than just alcoholic drinks La Dona also offers a variety of non-alcoholic drinks such as horchata iced coffee, agua fresca, jarritos and more. The taproom has a vibrant and colourful Latin flair. Punters can enjoy themselves on the beer garden patio with lots of seating available. It’s a great brewery to visit with kids as they have a mini soccer arena that kids can play in while parents relax. La Dona Cerveceria also serves food directly in-house with a good Mexican menu. Try their Dona Fria, Big Mama, La Reyna.
Falling Knife Brewing Company
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Falling Knife Brewing Company is a relative newbie on the Minneapolis craft beer scene. Their spacious taproom is a superb space for sampling their beers and there are long tables outside. There’s a good mix of Scandinavian and East Indian traditions in their beer making. Opening hours are Mondays-Thursdays 4-10pm, Fridays 4-12pm, Saturdays 12-12pm and Sundays 12-7pm. Try their Hidden Temple, Verbal Tip, Of a Feather.
So world beer citizens, Minneapolis in the Land of 10,000 lakes is a must-visit for worshippers of all things hops. Minnesotan’s started brewing beer in 1848 with early German immigrants instilling a culture of loving great beer.
Take your pick of a beer festival date and book your ticket to Minneapolis today. Go and make some memories!